Summer In Winter Talking Grown Folk

Looking out of the window, I can see the snow falling.  I have my fireplace going and I’m talking Summer–Summer Selby-Drew that is.  To top it off, Summer and I are talking “Grown Folk” conversation.

Summer Selby-Drew
Summer Selby-Drew

You never know who you are going to meet or who might inform you of something or someone interesting. While attending a dinner sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food,  I met a very interesting couple–the lovely actress Carolyn Wickwire and her husband Dennis West.  After talking about “thisisyourbestyear” they informed me I should reach out to Ms. Summer Selby-Drew because we had a lot in common.  They were so right.

Summer has moved from the DFW area and is now residing in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. So we met over the net and telephone.  While researching Summer, I immediately found out that she is a woman of “many” talents.  This woman of a certain age has worn so many different types of hats, but she knew from an early age that she wanted to be in the field of entertainment.  She just needed to map out her journey, and what a journey it continues to be.

Michelle Levy, Linda Franklin, Karen Head, Lourdes Bryant, Summer Selby-Drew (Hosts of Grown Folk)
Michelle Levy, Linda Franklin, Karen Head, Lourdes Bryant, Summer Selby-Drew (Hosts of Grown Folk)

She has done it all in the field of entertainment.  Summer is an acclaimed actress with stage, television and movie credits.  She has even ventured into voice overs. She is a producer/creator of the television show “Grown Folk” which really sparked my interest because of the market it is aimed toward.  “Grown Folk” is a talk show aimed at women of a certain age.  With a diverse cast, they discuss everything from clothing, cosmetic surgery, lifestyles and more. It fills a much-needed gap in the talk show market. “Grown Folk” has one successful season under its belt.  Since relocating Summer is trying to find a new home for “Grown Folk” in the hopes that it can get syndicated.

Head Ladies In Charge
Head Ladies In Charge

As if all of the above were not enough to keep her busy, she has recently become a published author in the book “Head Ladies in Charge”.  She was selected to be one of the ladies featured in a book that let’s them write the story of their journey to success.  Another book  is already in the works.

Living on the Gulf Coast is not your entertainment mecca, but Summer is a lady that knows how to work it.  “Grown Folk” has a wonderful saying that epitomizes what I got from my interview with Summer, and it goes “Balance out your TV viewing–watch us grown up women work it”.  Summer Selby-Drew is working it!

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. 

You can see more about “Grown Folk” at

You can also purchase the book “Head Ladies In Charge” by contacting Summer at:

Going Red For A Healthy Heart

Go redIt’s said that we do everything bigger (and better) in Texas.  Well the American Heart Association of Tarrant County did their Go Red Luncheon bigger and better than most.  It was a virtual sea of every bright shade of red that one could imagine.  Even the men wore something red.

The beautiful Omni Hotel had the fireplace going, and the smiles of the valet’s and others were as big and bright asGo red 3 anything that Texas has seen. After stopping at the registration desk and receiving instructions on bidding on the wonderful items at the silent auction, I decided to attend the healthy cooking demonstration presented by the head chef at Texas Health Harris Hospital Southwest Fort Worth.  He was entertaining and informative.  While he talked about his dishes some attendees sipped on their mimosa’s from the reception.  He had a question and answer session, and then a delicious tasting of “heart healthy” food.

Go red 2The silent auction had everything (no I did not get anything) from jewelry to suites at the Ballpark and more. There was no need to keep running back and forth to see if you were ahead on the bidding, all you needed was your phone.

Aside from the silent auction, there was information about heart disease, the dangers of Go red 12smoking, CPR training and many other informational stations. The professionals at the stations were eager to answer any and all questions.

Go red 7Karen Borta of CBS 11 served as the Mistress of Ceremony at the Heart Healthy Luncheon.  The luncheon featured laughter, information and a powerful testimony given by Tabitha Millsop.  The keynote address was given by actress and comedienne Tracey Conway who is also a sudden cardiac arrest survivor. She led all of us in a pledge to take care of our hearts.

As the attendees waited patiently for their cars, it was quite evident that the Go Red Luncheon had given everyone something to think about which is what the staff of the American Heart Association of Tarrant County wanted. You could overhear talks of loved ones with heart disease. There was talk of exercise and watching one’s diet.  The American Heart Association of Tarrant County was blushing red.  They had Tarrant County talking.

For more information about the number one killer of women (heart disease) go to to find your local chapter of the American Heart Association.  They have information, plus opportunities to volunteer to assist the cause.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Pledge to keep it “heart healthy”.

A Taste Of Fort Worth–Chef’s Collaboration Dinners at Central Market

Today’s post is written by guest blogger CY Cooper.  She is a “foodie” who is starting to become a “chef”.  Enjoy her account of a wonderful night of wine, food and fun at Central Market.  CY says these events can be done with friends, family or you can go it alone.  There is always good conversation plus good food and wine.

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Chef Juan Rodriquez of Reata Restaurant in red cap with Central Market Chef in the center and Chef Sabastien Layen of the Fort Worth Omni Hotel.

The 2015 Fort Worth Food+Wine Festival is scheduled for March 26-29 and leading up to this extraordinary event will be a series of Chef’s Collaboration Dinners at Central Market/Fort Worth Cooking School.  The series began last night (2/11/2015) with Chef Sebastien Layen of the Fort Worth Omni Hotel & Chef Juan Rodriquez of Reata Restaurant.  The two TOP Chefs conspired together and presented 5 courses to an appreciative audience.

Chef Sebastien Layen presented the First Course – Sea Bass Carpaccio w/Habanero Corn Salpicon, Dallas Goat Cheese Foam and Baby Arugula.  (Light & Refreshing)

The Second Course, presented by Chef Juan Rodriguez, was a delicious Roast Poblano Bisque w/Duck Confit and Cotija Cheese Crumbles.

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Texas BLT Scallop with Crumbled Chipotle Bacon, Tequila Tomato Confit and Cilantro Queso Fresco Pesto.

In presenting the Third Course of the Dinner, Chef Layen went the seafood route with a Texas BLT Scallop with Crumbled Chipotle Bacon, Tequila Tomato Confit and Cilantro Queso Fresco Pesto.  Chef Rodriguez’s Fourth Course Presentation was Beef Tenderloin with Guajillo Choron Sauce and Jalapeno Sharp Cheddar Grits.   The Third and Fourth Courses were Enjoyable and OUTSTANDING.

Callebaut Chocolate Bread Pudding Tamale and Spicy Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème with Marshmallow Mousse and Chili Caramelized Hill Country Pecans.

The Fifth and Final Course was DESSERT and both Chefs prepared signature desserts from their restaurants.  The Callebaut Chocolate Bread Pudding Tamale represented Reata (Chef Rodriguez), while the Spicy Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme with Marshmallow Mousse and Chili Caramelized Hill Country Pecans was the Omni Hotel’s standard-bearer (Chef Layen).  The two Desserts were RICH, RICH, RICH and oh so incredibly GOOD.  I believe I can honestly report that everyone who attended this collaboration dinner was not only impressed but enjoyed every delicious bite.

The Chef’s Collaboration Dinners will continue throughout the month of February and March.  Check the schedule at Central Market / Fort Worth Cooking School.  Tickets for the 2015 Fort Worth Food+Wine Festival are currently on sale and can be found at their site: This year’s festival is being sponsored by Central Market & Ben E Keith Company.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–do something different this year.

Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook where you can find more of “thisisyourbestyear”.

Gabriela Natale–Beauty, Brains And Giving Back

Teaching is not an easy profession, it is one that cannot be taught, it has to be natural and nurtured.  Gabriela Natale of Super Latina fame is an entertainment star who is also a natural teacher who eagerly gives back. This was one of the times when as an educator, I knew that I had invited the correct person to come and speak with my business leadership class at Tarrant County College.

Gabriela and I had been playing phone tag since about August of 2014, but when we finally got together it was a wonderful class.  A class where the students were attentive, asked questions, talked, laughed and just waited after class to speak with her.

I now see why she has been a successful television personality, event planner and entrepreneur.  She freely gives back by sharing her knowledge with others.  Her passion for her work is contagious.

You can see more of Ms. Gabriela Natale at her sites:


With all of her accomplishments Gabriela truly knows that “thisisyour(her)bestyear”, and she instilled that in her talk to students who were eager to learn.

Advice IQ: Setting Realistic Retirement Goals

retirement 2I am always reading about how much money we will need to retire to a lifestyle that we would like. Like most people we want to retire to Oprah and Bill Gates pre retirement lifestyle, but we are realistic.  Six years ago I officially retired in May and went back to work full-time that August. It was planned.

I knew it was time to leave a career that had been good to me. I had a retirement account with them plus I was investing in another.  retirement 5How long will I work full-time or even part-time is a question that I have not really thought about.

retirementI think I am realistic about retirement as it is now. I am still working on an individual retirement plan and was too excited to know that I will get Social Security–they say enough to get my nails done!

Trying to keep debt at bay is a constant work in progress. The new car bug hits me sometimes. I’ve had my car, Big White for 11 years and I am hoping for a few more, but every once in a while I think about how pretty her new sister will look. Then I come back to reality and car note. When the time comes to part ways with her I will purchase another SUV, probably a pre owned one.

Have I saved enough and invested enough? That’s the magic question. It all depends on a lot of things. Take a look at the link below written by Wes Moss in the USA Today. He will help you understand what a realistic retirement might look like.retirement 4

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” live, save for retirement and keep living.

You can follow Wes Moss on Twitter @WesMoss365.

New Friends New Life And Kevin Costner

It seems only fitting that actor Kevin Costner would be the keynote speaker for the 12th annual Wings Luncheon (April 10, 2015) which will benefit New Friends New Life.  Even in his body of acting roles, he seems to always come back to a part that is pertinent to a subject in the world today.  His latest movie “Black or White” is one example. Now he comes to Dallas, Texas to help the nonprofit organization New Friends New Life which empowers girls who were formerly trafficked and sexually exploited women and children begin their new life with new friends.

Costner Headshot 1

The luncheon will feature Mr. Costner in an interview format with Gary Cogill. There will be an update on the work that is being done by New Friends New Life.

The Honorable Jeanne Johnson Phillips who is the luncheon chairperson stated that “New Friends New Life is about protecting the most vulnerable citizens of our city–our children”. She wants the world to know that Dallas is a zero tolerance zone for human trafficking.

New Friends New Life is currently serving over 1,000 women and children annually.  They provide holistic services for sexually exploited girls, women and their children.  These services include education, job training, financial assistance, spiritual and mental health support. Counseling is provided. There is a High Risk and Trafficked Teen Girls Program which offers recovery groups for adolescent girls (12 to 17) teaching them how to define, recognize and recover from the abuse they have endured. It is both an intervention and a prevention program.

To find out more about New Friends New Life go to: or call (214) 965-0935. Sponsorships are available and individual tickets for the luncheon will go on sale February 4.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.